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The Market Speaks: Procurement practitioner requirements and the tech vendor response — Simfoni

08/30/2023 By


Spend Matters constantly updates its understanding of the state of the procurement tech market via RFIs for our SolutionMap dataset, vendor interviews, global event attendance and product demos with the aim of keeping tech-selection decision makers ahead of market trends. But we also endeavor to grow our understanding of the wants and needs of the customers using that tech – the practitioners.

In one series of interviews this summer and through to the end of the year, we are talking to vendors about what their customers really want from them and how they are proposing to address those needs. In a second one, we are talking to the end users about their expectations and requirements.

This week we spoke with Trish E. McLoughlin, VP Marketing at e-procurement solution provider Simfoni.

What are the challenges and asks of your customers?

Over the past year we have seen a steady increase in the number of organizations looking for ways to understand their spend and find savings opportunities quickly and easily. They’ve tried doing it manually, throwing headcount at the problem or continuing to rely on ERP-based tools that are not designed to properly aggregate the data needed for comprehensive spend analysis. Organizations that have made some headway instead ask “How do we mine this data for new opportunities, execute on those and track our success in achieving associated outcomes?”

Our hearts skip a collective beat when clients ask us questions like these. At Simfoni, helping businesses create in-depth views of corporate spend is almost always the first step – even in larger, more complex procurement transformation initiatives. Why? Because spend visibility is the cornerstone of uncovering key insights, trends and new opportunities that can bring added value and benefits to the business. To unlock net new savings opportunities, identify and mitigate risks within your supply chain, manage corporate ESG initiatives or manage and grow relationships with key suppliers, you need to have an analysis of corporate spend that can deliver the roadmap to achieve new levels of business transformation.

Simfoni provides an opportunity assessment that makes finding opportunities in spend data easy. We understand the biggest challenge (after creating meaningful views of your spend) is taking action on uncovered opportunities. Our Strategic Spend Terminal bridges the gap between spend visibility and sourcing project planning and execution— ensuring users can easily identify, track and execute strategic savings initiatives in a true closed-loop fashion. This puts the spotlight where it belongs — on procurement’s strategic value and impact on the business.

Are you witnessing a shift in demand towards more ESG and supply chain risk capabilities?

We continue to see a steady increase in the number of organizations prioritizing initiatives around ESG, supply chain risk, sustainability and fair labor. Procurement and supply chain leaders are recognizing the importance of implementing responsible, ethical sourcing practices in their supply chains and realize it’s not only beneficial for the environment and society but can also help identify and manage risk and drive long-term profitability for the organizations they serve. As a result, many procurement and supply chain leaders are turning to tech solutions to help them.

In particular our customers are looking for:

  • ESG Integration: Companies are increasingly looking for spend management solutions that help them incorporate ESG factors into their decision-making processes. This involves assessing suppliers based on their environmental impact, labor practices, diversity and inclusion efforts, and governance policies.
  • Sourcing Suppliers: The demand for transparency and accountability in supply chains has grown considerably. Providers, like Simfoni, can enable organizations to easily identify and evaluate suppliers who align with pre-defined criteria, ensuring business is awarded to those suppliers that align best with organizational goals and objectives.
  • Sustainability Reporting: Many organizations are now required to report on their sustainability efforts and progress. Consequently they need spend management tools that can capture, analyze and report relevant data, such as carbon footprint, waste generation and supplier sustainability performance.

What is Simfoni doing to address these customer challenges?

We are committed to addressing the evolving needs of our customers, which includes providing the tools and insights necessary to help organizations achieve their sustainability goals. Simfoni’s spend management technology has evolved to incorporate features and functionalities that address ESG, supply chain risk and sustainability. We provide comprehensive data analytics, supplier evaluation and sourcing tools, and integrations with leading third-party data providers that enable organizations with the datasets they need to make well-informed and responsible procurement decisions that align to their own sustainability goals.

Many thanks to Simfoni. We’ll be talking to more vendors next week – check back in then.

To help you with your tech selection challenges, Spend Matters offers vendor analyses as part of its Insider membership, providing independent and in depth tech selection tips across all procurement categories.

TechMatch helps you understand how the capabilities you need match your technology provider.